Nightshifters: What wakes you up while you are trying to sleep in this 9 to 5 world?

  1. I have worked both shifts over the years. While I prefer the atmosphere on nights (NO SUITS!!!!!), I often find it difficult to get a good amount of sleep. Here's why:
    1. No matter what time I cut off fluids, I always have to pee by noon.
    2. Lawn services and their eardrum breaking machines! Do they really have to be THAT loud?
    3. I live one short block away from an air raid type fire whistle! Some moron put it in a playground-now that's using your head!
    4. The dog.
    5. The doorbell.

    What about the rest of you out there, what's keeping you awake?
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  2. Poll: If you work night shift, how much sleep can you usually get during the day?

    • 0 to 4 hours

      7.44% 9
    • 4 to 6 hours

      54.55% 66
    • 6 to 8 hours

      35.54% 43
    • more than 8 hours

      2.48% 3
    121 Votes
  3. 58 Comments

  4. by   Marj Griggs
    I haven't worked nights for 20 years or so, but I only got about 5 hours of sleep (that happened on days, too), and was wakened by the telephone, the school (that was ok), my bladder, and the kids coming home from school, which let out at about 1:30. One thing that prompted me to stay on days (I really preferred nights) was that my BP went down to normal and stayed that way on days. I also tended to gain weight on nights, because snacking helped me stay awake.
  5. by   Teshiee
    I usually require only 6 hours of sleep to be well rested. I guess that is why nights doesn't really bother me. I can't work days I am so tired during the day. I guess it is a matter of preference. I never have a problem with finding a nursing job that is for sure.
  6. by   RN-PA
    When I worked nights, I would get around 6-7 hours of sleep. I slept in a room with only one window and had both miniblinds and a windowshade to keep the room dark.

    The phone was not in my bedroom and I have an answering machine so no problem there. For noise control, I've always slept with a white-noise sound machine because we live on a busy street and I've always had trouble with noise keeping me awake. When I worked night shift, though, I had the white-noise machine which sat near my head on a bedside table augmented with a box fan on the floor near the window turned up to medium. AND, I'd wear foam earplugs because the room sounded like a jet engine! :imbar
  7. by   RNforLongTime
    Well, I have worked night shift on and off my entire nursing career. I started out as an aide in a residential care facility back in 1991. While my hubby is a natural born day shifter, I am not! I have worked straight nights now since September. I usually get to bed by 8:30 at the latest and don't get up till 4:30 or 5 pm. Lucky for me, I am a very heavy sleeper so I don't hear the phone ringing or the doorbell and I have a great bladder but have to pee like a racehorse when I get up.

    Kelly
  8. by   Furball
    A fan whrrrring on high is my bestest friend.
  9. by   amdrn
    Hi all, I just started working night shift again after 12yrs. I work 12hr nights and find that I love it. I swore I'd never do it again. Quess that's way they say never say never....lol
    I get exactly 71/2 hrs. I keep on a strict schedule. I make no appts on days I work, the phone is turned off, answering machine turned down. etc.... I find things are working out nicely so far. I try to keep a positive attitude about working the "CRAZY" shift. that helps alot!!!!! Good Luck everyone!!!!!
  10. by   RN-PA
    furball said:

    A fan whrrrring on high is my bestest friend.
    AHHHHHHHH-- A nurse after my own heart! :zzzzz :zzzzz
  11. by   Furball
    RN-PA!!
  12. by   bellehill
    I have worked night shift for 9 months and I love it! I have blinds and shades on my windows. The phone is turned off and I run a fan or humidifier (depending on the weather). I usually get 6-7 hours of sleep which I can function on. Don't think I could work day shift, too much noise and confusion.
  13. by   LilgirlRN
    I've worked at night for 15 years. I tried to work days for about 3 months, worst experience of my life! I too sleep with my box fan on high. I have an answering machine and my children are all but grown now, my baby graduates from HS in 2 weeks. Door bell occasionally wakes me up, but I don't have many callers as everyone I have anything to do with knows that I work at night. I think that is the key to getting your rest, to make sure that everyone knows that you will be sleeping and to NOT disturb you. I can be quite irate (just ask my mom) when I am awakened just because no one has spoken to me for 2 days!!
  14. by   NurseDennie
    When I worked nights, I had a great deal of trouble sleeping during the day. I filtered out the light and tried to adapt to the noise, but I couldn't get to sleep with earplugs in.

    It was actually worse when I briefly had an 8-hour evenings position. I worked until about 11, then came home, fully awake. I couldn't go right to sleep at all. I tried watching TV - yeuccchhhh. I couldn't read in bed, which is what probably would have helped the most, it's very relaxing to me, because my hubby was in bed asleep and we only have room in our bedroom for one bedside table, and it's on his side. I bought one of those lights that lights up only your book, but that didn't work for me either.

    So I'd get to sleep about 2:30 or so, and have to get up at 5:00 to drive hubby to work and dau to school. Then I'd be awake. I was tired all the time, though. Bad....

    Love

    Dennie
  15. by   night owl
    I have neighbors that are borderline retarded! They have three dogs that bark at anything that moves! Their kids constantly knock on my door starting two minutes after they get off the school bus. They know I'm sleeping and yet...
    I get the best sleep in the morning, but I have to have the TV on to drown out the rest of the noise and it works for me. 5-6 hours is really all that I need.

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